Philippine environment campaigners clear coastline trash to mark World Oceans Day

Volunteers pick up trash along the south-west coast of the Philippine capital ahead of World Oceans Day commemorations.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (JUNE 6, 2015) (REUTERS) – Over 150 volunteers picked up piles of trash at a marshland on the south-western coast of the Philippine capital on Saturday (June 6) as part of activities to mark World Oceans Day.

The event organised by several non-governmental organisations, a methodist church group and the environmental group Save the Freedom Island Movement, targeted a 175-hectare mangrove island, called Freedom Island, strewn with garbage.

The group picked up bottles, plastic and other non-biodegradable products that had been washed ashore on the marshland which the Philippine government has said is a sanctuary for migratory birds, fish and mangroves.

Campaigners said their efforts would help not just their community but the whole world.

“This is partly our fault because we are the ones who are littering, but these cleanup activities will help the world, as it will help reduce heat and the foul odor,” said Lawrence Seredio, one of the environment advocates.

Save the Freedom Island Movement said at least a truckload of non-biodegradable waste was collected during monthly regular cleanup drives with other environment groups across the city.

Campaign director Glacy Macabale said strong policies were needed to resolve the garbage problem.

“There are still many things that should to be done, like when it rains or there’s a typhoon and new garbage washes ashore, that’s why our advocacy and campaign should be continuous. We need to connect or talk to more people and discuss with them the importance of taking care of nation,” she said.

Some 8,700 tonnes of rubbish is produced daily in the Philippine capital, the National Solid Waste Management Commission said, the highest level in the country.

Environment activists said poor law enforcement on garbage segregation and environmental protection were the reasons for the poor waste problems in the Philippines.

World Oceans Day is celebrated on June 8th every year to raise awareness of the importance of the oceans and the impact of human actions upon them. This year’s theme is “healthy oceans, healthy planet” the United Nations website said.


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